SELLER: Lauren Conrad
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
SIZE: 3,233 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathroom
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: In the mid 2000s, while still a teenager, Lauren Conrad rocketed to mainstream fame as the quintessential California blond break-out star of a pair of horrendously vapid and intensely melodramatic but immensely popular reality shows, first on “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County” and later on the even more flagrantly tawdry “The Hills.” She is one the few of her cast mates from either show to parlay her television and tabloid notoriety into a lucrative, multi-pronged career that spans half of a dozen fluffy novels, an aspirational beauty tutorial website (“The Beauty Department”) as well as a beauty advice book (“Lauren Conrad Beauty”), a couple of affordable clothing lines sold at the mass retail colossus Kohl’s, and a recently launched internet retail site called The Little Market. She has 4.5 million followers on Instagram, almost 3.5 million on Twitter and, in case any of y’all didn’t already know, the beaver busy author/designer/self-styled beauty and style expert is also an up and coming property mogul who owns an impressive handful of multi-million dollar residences that include a duplex penthouse in an unassuming 1970s era Brutalist-style apartment block in Beverly Hills that’s recently come up for sale at $3.2 million. Miz Conrad, now 29 and married for just over a year to historically named musician turned law school graduate William Tell, acquired the house-sized penthouse in March 2012 for $1.35 million and current listing details show the centrally located and freshly renovated condominium, which carries considerable monthly homeowner’s dues of more than $2,500, is currently configured with two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms in 3,233-square-feet.
At the time of her purchase the penthouse was a woefully dated hot mess of creamy buff colored walls, worn parquet floors, bumpy popcorn ceilings, and a funhouse worthy amount of mirrors. Fer chrissakes, even the tray ceiling in the dining room was mirrored! A down-to-the-studs renovation wherein all new plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems were installed whisked the tired old penthouse into the 21st century with custom-finished wood floors, a trove of trendy wallpaper treatments, and an integrated speaker system. The voluminous double-height living room retains its original wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that open to a slender balcony but the room now features a brass and crystal chandelier and an arguably too-teeny faux fireplace set against a 20-foot tall expanse of exposed reclaimed brick. The comfortably wide galley-style kitchen, previously a windowless warren lit by tacky ceiling panels, is now fitted with gleaming white counter tops of unknown but most likely expensive material, crisp white Shaker-style cabinetry, chatoyant white subway tile backsplashes, a white porcelain farmhouse sink with of-the-decorative-moment brass fixtures, and a generous collection of top grade appliances that include an imported French range that all by itself cost close to $10,000. The kitchen opens at one end through a wide and shallow arch to a formal dining room lit by a spiky, wig-snatcher of a satellite-style chandelier and at the other to what this banquette-loving property gossips thinks is a rather snazzy, built-in corner dining nook with sunshine yellow tufted cushions and a round, marble-topped Tulip table by modernist master Eero Saarinen. The main floor master suite opens to a slim balcony and incorporates an enviable and decidedly decadent dressing room lined with lighted and glass-fronted wardrobes plus an all-white and possibly windowless bathroom fitted with marble counter tops, an integrated hair and make-up station between two sinks, a claw-footed soaking tub, and a glass-fronted shower with convenient built-in bench. Reclaimed wood panels in the master bedroom glide open on barn door tracks to an adjoining boudoir done up with floating bookshelves above filagreed storage cabinets that flank a second faux fireplace, this one surmounted by a flat screen television.
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A free-floating spiral staircase in the living room makes tight but still elegant twist up the to second floor where, as best as we can surmise from a careful read of online marketing materials, there’s an office/den with black and white Birch tree forest pattern wallpaper and a custom-built media cabinet. Also upstairs is an unexpectedly spacious, loft-style family room/media lounge that benefits — boozehounds will appreciate — from a walk-in wet bar that shimmers with metallic wallpaper, black lacquer cabinetry, and, in a nod to 1930s glamour not to mention the mirror-heavy décor that was ripped out, mirror-backed open shelves. French doors in the family room lead to a narrow but lengthy private terrace where Miz Conrad has installed glammy, high-gloss black and white marble tiles in a formal checkerboard pattern.
Even after she sheds her BevHills penthouse-condo the budding real estate mogulette will still lay claim to nearly $20 million in residential real estate. In the spring of 2013 she shelled out $3,651,375 for a six bedroom and five bathroom, clapboard-sided Colonial Cape in a discreetly plum section of Brentwood — it had been worked over for the sellers by ascerbically sassy reality television house flipper Jeff Lewis on “Interior Therapy” — and earlier this year she, along with her husband, we presume, coughed up $4.4 million for a privately situated mock-Mediterranean on 1.42 gated acres at tail end of a secluded cul-de-sac in a low-profile but high-cost guard gated enclave in the Highlands area of Pacific Palisades. The not yet thirty-year-old Orange County native also owns at least two multi-million dollar homes in her formerly boho and now ridiculously gentrified hometown of Laguna Beach. In May 2009 she paid exactly $2 million for a modestly sized if hardly inexpensive home in the prestigious, guard-gated Three Arch Bay development and almost five years later, in February 2014, splashed out another $8.5 million for an only slightly larger but bluff’s edge residence that’s literally just around the corner and provides stunning beach and coastline views.
Listing photos: Main Beach Realty